Tuesday, 15 September 2009

pecan and carrot bread

back from liverpool and it was just nice to be back at home. it was a fun weekend: apart from spending time with friends, i also saw the most amazing sunset on friday night, exorcised some small ghosts, and slept in a very comfortable bed. small things, and all that.

i've written before that sunday afternoons are my favourite time for pottering around the kitchen. i think it may be because a nice sunday dinner is a way of warding off the back-to-school dread - a huge roast chicken is a pretty good way to make you stop thinking about hedge funds. i also tend to rustle up something for during the week as it's realistically the only time i have for spilling almond flour on the kitchen floor, getting every spoon in the house dirty and running a dishwasher with just the food processor parts in it.

this sunday i fancied making a snack but wanted something that was an edible symbol of the feeling of gladness to be at home, and messing around in the kitchen, and sitting around and reading newspapers on the new chair. maybe also a little touch of the end of summer - you don't go in for much baking in july when fruit on its own is enough but now there is definitely a turn.

so i spent some time looking for a thing to bake. it had to be something not sweet as i didn't really fancy that, and it had to be pretty straightforward. this was perfect.

the recipe is from straight into bed cakefree and dried. i omitted the honey and i changed the cooking time - i found that an hour at 160 is nowhere near long enough. also, i ground my own nuts in the magimix.

PECAN AND CARROT BREAD

7oz grated carrots
8oz pecan nut flour
4oz butter
3 large eggs
Pinch salt
good squeeze of lemon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cider vinegar

preheat the oven to 180C. grease a 1lb loaf tin (or whatever) and line with paper - if it hangs over the sides, you can lift the cake out much more easily.

whizz the butter in in a food processor with about 2 tbs of the nut flour and the bicarbonate of soda. separate the eggs and add the yolks to this mixture one by one and beat until it's all light and a bit fluffy. stir in the rest of the nuts and the carrots. (i just pulsed it all in a food processor briefly.) in a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then add the vinegar and a squeeze of lemon and whisk a bit more.

fold in about 2 tablespoons of the whites into the rest to loosen it a bit and then stir the remainder with a metal spoon, trying not to knock all the air out. cookery books always try and make this sound complicated but you just need a few firm and decisive stirs and that's it.

pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for around 75 minutes. check it's ready by inserting a skewer and if it comes out clean, it's done. leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer onto a rack and let it cool completely.

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